Bleacher Report catches you up on the latest news from the WWE Universe.
Jericho Addresses Brock Lesnar's Free Agency
The big story in WWE this week outside of the squared circle was a report from PWInsider.com's Mike Johnson that Brock Lesnar is a free agent after his contract with the company expired.
Johnson did note Lesnar and WWE have been talking about a new deal, but the two sides tabled their talks after hitting an "impasse" in negotiations.
Lesnar's status has fueled speculation about his future in wrestling, but one prominent AEW star doesn't think the Beast is really a free agent.
In an interview with Gary Cassidy of Sportskeeda, Chris Jericho explained why Lesnar doesn't fit the definition of free agent as we know it:
"“I don't think he's really a free agent at all. I think it would take so much money to pry him away from Vince McMahon on Brock's end and then for Vince to approve that. ... The amount of money it would take him to tear him away from from the world of WWE would, A, be astronomical, B, Vince will never allow it to happen and, C, I don't know if you could make that investment back, or if it would even be worth it for AEW at this point in time or UFC, or any company other than WWE.”
Lesnar is one of the savviest businessmen in wrestling history. The last time his contract came due was 2018, which led to speculation that he would return to UFC for at least one marquee match.
UFC President Dana White went so far as to say the chances were "very, very, very good" that Lesnar would fight for the promotion again.
WWE announced in April 2018 that Lesnar had re-signed with the company.
History has shown that everything Lesnar does is part of some elaborate negotiating tactic to make himself the most money. McMahon has shown time and again that he's willing to play Lesnar's game if it means he can keep the five-time WWE champion.
Lesnar has worked a part-time schedule since returning to WWE in 2012, so the travel schedule wouldn't seem to be a significant factor in his decision. The likelihood of his wrestling career being over seems slim, but it seems unlikely he will show up anywhere except for WWE.
Big E Ready for Spotlight
Friday could be a big moment in the career of Big E, who is part of a four-way match with Matt Riddle, King Corbin and Sheamus to determine the No. 1 contender for the WWE universal title at Clash of Champions.
There have been rumblings about a significant singles push coming for Big E. He told Alex McCarthy of TalkSport.com last month that WWE has talked with him about those plans.
While it remains to be seen if Big E will get that push, The Miz spoke highly about the six-time SmackDown tag team champion.
"If you listen to Big E in the first and and second Talking Smack, they're different," Miz told Raj Prashad of Uproxx.com. "But they're both a serious Big E and that Big E is a main-event-caliber, money-making Universal champion-type superstar. I do believe that Big E will be able to be a world champion very quickly."
A championship match against Roman Reigns on pay-per-view would unquestionably be the biggest match of Big E's WWE career. There's certainly an argument to be made for him to win Friday's match. Riddle and Corbin are currently locked in their own feud.
Sheamus is a heel who hasn't been a main-event superstar in years. Big E is new, fresh and has been doing the best work of his career since July when he became a singles competitor in the wake of Kofi Kingston's injury.
FTR Speaks About WWE Run
Cash Wheeler and Dax Harwood have done a great job of reestablishing themselves as one of the best tag teams in the world since making their AEW debut in May as FTR.
Prior to joining AEW, Wheeler and Harwood spent three years on WWE's main roster as The Revival. Fans had high hopes for the duo after a tremendous run in NXT, but it ultimately didn't work out because McMahon tends not to prioritize the tag division on Raw or SmackDown.
During an appearance on Vickie Guerrero's podcast (h/t Sai Mohan of Wrestling Inc.), Harwood said McMahon apologized to the duo at their last meeting before the company released them.
"In our very last meeting with Vince, he actually apologized to us, because the system was broken," Harwood said. "And the crazy thing is, Vince wants to hear those ideas, whether he wants to use them or not. Just like everyone, he wants to hear those ideas."
Harwood and Wheeler noted WWE's system of communication is broken because superstars have to go through "130 people" before getting the chance to present ideas to McMahon.
"They are so afraid of losing their jobs because if Vince rejects their idea, they might not get a paycheck the following week," Harwood said. "That's a sad place to be."
Even though FTR's run with WWE ended on a sour note, the team has had no problems making an impact in AEW. The duo will challenge Kenny Omega and Adam Page for the AEW world tag team championship Saturday at All Out.